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chicken research

By Eileen Myles


Peterborough NH, July 28 2009

Would you be available for a possible conversation?

Researcher needs to shift to an animal platform where other sound systems have value and can be received. Transition successful:

I feel smothered by the kisses of your sounds.

Do you mind if I quote?

“Chicken sounds.”

And what are you eating?

All the chickens back off. Is nobody brave. Chickens are all female right?

The red crowns rather clit-like on their heads.

I’m realizing that I’m sitting next to a black solar something, a screen, and I’m useless. I don’t know what that thing is and I can’t ask any of these chickens. I lean in closer to take a picture of one of you and get zapped by electronic fence. It feels like a bump. I ate two of your eggs this morning. Is that weird?

Physical account of field situation:

About a dozen chickens outside. Two inside small raised chicken “house.”

Meanwhile tiny persistent tick continues to come from solar “thing.” I see reddening bands across the lined black face of the thing. It looks like a screen being held up like a lean to. It looks like a drive in for chickens but it lies outside their pen. Occasionally I hear a sigh from one of you. I find it a beautiful sound. Especially the fullness of your concert. Largely stopped once I became part of the atmosphere. It’s like I came to do some chicken research and then everyone got quiet then they walked away. If they were human I’d feel self conscious, defeated. Now I miss the moment when there was just more sound but their roaming kick backs are fine, my curiosity about what they are picking out of the ground makes the visual music of their pecking slightly riveting. Nonetheless I begin moving towards the other side, wanting more, and the excitement begins all over again. I think they think I’m someone else. What a crowd, what a sound. Listen:

Dear Reader:

At this moment you were to hear an orchestra of chickens, me goading them on, but no. I made such a recording but I have a new computer that does not have windows media player installed. I am trying to install it even as I speak. Stay open, as I will, technologically, to learn how to do this, and tomorrow, hopefully, the chickens will come. . .

Comments (6)

  • On July 29, 2009 at 11:24 am albertine wrote:

    Cue the sexist but catchy song “Pick-a-Little-Talk-a-Little” from The Music Man.


  • On July 29, 2009 at 2:27 pm Don Share wrote:

    I lived on a farm in Denmark as a kid, and one of my chores was to look after the chickens. Boy did I learn to hate ’em. They do some nasty stuff I can’t detail on a family website like this! They certainly make some fantastic sounds, though. And who doesn’t like to have cacklefruit in the morning?

  • On July 29, 2009 at 4:14 pm Eileen Myles wrote:

    Don’t tell me this is a family website! What family?

  • On July 29, 2009 at 4:21 pm Joel Brouwer wrote:

    I tell ya, I’ve been dying to get one of these


    but I know the dogs would absolutely freek.

  • On July 29, 2009 at 4:30 pm Don Share wrote:

    The family of.. well… us, I guess!

  • On July 29, 2009 at 5:33 pm michael robbins wrote:

    my grandmother’s rooster (both long since deceased, in unrelated circumstances) took a hunk out of my scrotum when I was a child. keep that information within the family, please.

Posted in Uncategorized on Wednesday, July 29th, 2009 by Eileen Myles.